European Flame Retardant Association EBCA Meeting 26 November 2010 Dr Veronique Steukers Contents Introduction to EFRA & Flame Retardants Where are Flame Retardants used? How do Flame retardants work? Key recommendations Copyright EFRA © 2010 EFRA Members 2010 www.flameretardants.eu 3 Copyright EFRA © 2010 EFRA: Vision and Mission Vision To be the trustworthy voice of the flame retardant industry in Europe Mission To provide a platform for producers of different FR chemistries To express a unified industry perspective To promote different flame retardant technologies To work on common regulatory and scientific challenges To exchange new developments and solutions with stakeholders in our value chain Copyright EFRA © 2010 EFRA: New Publications “Flame Retardants for a changing Society”, Gives a broad overview about the variety of flame retardants usages in everyday life, and their contribution to the tremendous evolutions of consumer products, construction products and transports over the past few decades. “Keeping fire in check in Electrical and Electronic Devices” Gives a deep insight into the usage of flame retardants in electrical and electronic devices. Today’s electronic devices are fast, light and incredible pieces of design. They were partly made possible by the use of lighter and more diverse plastics. They also pose specific fire safety and technical challenges, which need very specific answers. Brochures can be downloaded at www.flameretardants.eu Copyright EFRA © 2010 What are Flame Retardants? Wide range of chemicals, with various compositions and properties «Flame-retardant» is a function, not based on any chemical reality Based on various natural elements With various properties related to fire-safety, human health and environment No link between the elemental content and the properties can be drawn Subject to European legislation on chemicals Copyright EFRA © 2010 Cl Cl O O O ClCH2 P O O O P CH2Cl O O Cl Cl Where are flame retardants used? * Plastics * Textiles * Foams and fillings (cushions, feathers, wool …) * Insulation (buildings, fridges, sound proofing …) * Electrical cables, circuit boards … * Wood and timber, chipboard, panelling -> Electrical goods, clothing, curtains, bedding, building materials, carpets and floorings, toys, cars, trains, planes, furniture, decorations …where there are fire safety requirements. Copyright EFRA © 2010 Increasing fire risks for consumers The use of traditional materials such as wood, metal & animal hair or hides have been replaced by the use of new materials such as plastics, composites, foams & fire-based fillings Increasing power, plus miniaturisation, of electronics (dependency on cooling fans), widespread use of standby function Increasing use of textiles, furnishings, foams Integration of electronics into furnishings, toys, decorations … A LCD TV contains an average of 8,4kg of plastic which without the application of FRs would be equivalent to roughly 6 litres of gasoline in terms of potential heat release. Copyright EFRA © 2010 Increasing fire risks for consumers Salton Inc. Recalls Electric Toasters Due to Fire Hazard WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. CPSC, Bilt-Safe Technologies Announce Recall of Electric Blankets In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Bilt-Safe Technologies Inc., of Erwin, Tenn. is voluntarily recalling 60,000 (including 13,720 sold to consumers) electric blankets. When the temperature controller on the blanket is reset multiple times or the blanket is folded or covered with additional blankets, the blanket can overheat. This can result in smoldering and melting, posing a burn hazard to consumers. Despite vastly improved federal mattress flammability standards in recent years, 150 to 200 people still die each year due to small, open flame mattress and bedding fires. Between 1999 and 2003, 76,400 home fires were started on or around mattresses. As a result of those fires, 1,890 deaths, 8,820 injuries, and $1.603 billion in property damage resulted. Seventy four percent of these mattress fires were caused by ignition from smoking materials such as cigarettes. Source: Consumerwatch.com Copyright EFRA © 2010 How do Flame retardants work? FRs either prohibit the start of a fire or reduce the speed of the fire FRs can extend the escape time by a factor 10 or even more FRs reduce the number of fire casualties & deaths: The European Commission has estimated that there has been a 20% reduction in fire deaths as a direct result of the use of FRs over 10 years. (Flame Retardants, DG Environment Video 2000, cited by AEA Technology, January 2001) Copyright EFRA © 2010 FR sofa versus non-FR sofa after 11 minutes flame retarded non flame retarded (EU standard) Copyright EFRA © 2010 acc. to UK-standard after 11 minutes flame retarded non flame retarded (EU standard) acc. to UK-standard Source: http://www.bhfti.ca.gov/burn_comparison.pdf Key recommendations Promote: • public behaviour and response education after 11 minutes • promote domestic smoke alarm & sprinkler installation AND • push to make critical consumer goods fire safe: -> obligatory (legislation, norms) -> company responsibility Fire fighters and burn associations have a key role: • competent • credible flame retarded non flame retarded • legitimate (EU communicators to both acc. to UK-standard standard) regulators and the public Copyright EFRA © 2010 EFRA (The European Flame Retardants Association) brings together the major companies which manufacture or market flame retardants in Europe. EFRA covers all types of flame retardants: chemicals based on bromine, phosphorus, nitrogen and inorganic compounds. EFRA is a sector group of Cefic, the European Chemical Industry Council. www.flameretardants.eu Questions? Thanks Veronique Steukers Albemarle Europe +32 10 48 17 15 [email protected] Copyright EFRA © 2010 Reproduction is authorised with the written consent of EFRA, provided that the source is mentioned and acknowledged. EFRA claims no copyright on any official document or in the public domain. Copyright of third party material in this document must also be respected.